Abel Tasman will chase her fourth straight grade 1 victory in the Cotillion

Abel Tasman will chase her fourth straight grade 1 victory in the Cotillion

Chad B. Harmon

Abel Tasman Heads to Cotillion

Kentucky Oaks winner chases fourth straight grade 1.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is short-staffed these days, but he's making it work.

With right-hand man Jimmy Barnes out with an injured pelvis suffered in a training accident, Baffert himself will head to Parx Racing with the 3-year-olds he hopes will continue to stand out in their divisions Sept. 23.

Baffert has breakout Travers Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) winner West Coast in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) with a chance to continue to place himself at the top of a sophomore crop without a clear-cut leader.

Meanwhile, Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Abel Tasman has set her sights on year-end honors and a hefty purse as the 8-5 morning-line choice in the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (G1).

Assigned post 11 in a field of 12 for her 1 1/16-mile test, China Horse Club and Clearsky Farm's Quality Road  filly comes off a determined victory July 23 in the 1 1/8-mile Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, and seeks her fourth straight grade 1 score. She won Belmont Park's June 10 Acorn Stakes (G1) going a mile, after taking the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks by 1 1/4 lengths at Churchill Downs.

Baffert put both contenders through their final paces Sept. 18, working West Coast four furlongs in :47 2/5 and sending Abel Tasman through four furlongs in :48 flat. Fellow Hall of Famer Mike Smith has the mount on both.

"She has so much quality, since she's by Quality Road," Baffert quipped. "She's really been doing very well. She's just a class act to be around, she's got a great disposition. She's a very kind mare, really easy to work with.

"She needs to run to her race. We're looking forward to watching her run again."

Baffert won the Cotillion in 2011 with another Kentucky Oaks winner, Plum Pretty, who romped by 7 1/2 lengths.

"It's a good race to run in, it's a big purse," Baffert said. "Plum Pretty just took the lead and kept on going. Hopefully Abel Tasman will have some racing luck. It's the last chance for a 3-year-old filly to run for a big purse against her own division."

In for more against Abel Tasman is Gary Barber, Baccari Racing Stable, and Chester Prince's grade 2 winner Salty. Fifth in the Kentucky Oaks, the Mark Casse-trained Quality Road filly was second in the Acorn and third in the Coaching Club American Oaks, then ran third last out in the Aug. 19 Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.

It Tiz Well, the runner-up by 5 1/2 lengths in that 1 1/4-mile test to victorious Elate, dials back in distance in this spot. Tommy Town Thoroughbreds' Arch filly won the July 8 Delaware Oaks (G3) and chases her first grade 1 victory for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. She has not met Abel Tasman since those two tangled at Santa Anita Park in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1), where Abel Tasman came in 11 3/4 lengths behind Paradise Woods, with It Tiz Well another 2 1/4 lengths back in third.

Two others emerge from the Alabama—grade 2 winner Actress, Gary and Mary West's Tapit  filly who was fourth last out for trainer Jason Servis, and Juddmonte Farm's homebred stakes winner Lockdown, who was sixth for Bill Mott.

Todd Pletcher launches a three-pronged assault for Repole Stable in allowance winners Thirstforthecup and Run and Go along with maiden winner Stay Fond. Monmouth Oaks (G3) winner Teresa Z, stakes winner Mopotism, and allowance winners Proud and Fearless and Sine Wave (the latter second in the Monmouth Oaks last out) complete the field.

Entries: Cotillion S. (G1)

Parx Racing, Saturday, September 23, 2017, Race 10

  • Grade I
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $1,000,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 4:55 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
61Thirstforthecup (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJohn R. Velazquez117Todd A. Pletcher12/1
71AStay Fond (KY)John R. Velazquez117Todd A. Pletcher12/1
91XRun and Go (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJohn R. Velazquez117Todd A. Pletcher12/1
12Lockdown (KY)Luis Saez119William I. Mott8/1
23Actress (KY)Kendrick Carmouche122Jason Servis5/1
34Proud and Fearless (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateBrian Pedroza117J. Larry Jones20/1
45It Tiz Well (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateDrayden Van Dyke122Jerry Hollendorfer4/1
56Mopotism (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMario Gutierrez117Doug F. O'Neill20/1
87Sine Wave (KY)Robby Albarado117Benjamin W. Perkins, Jr.20/1
108Teresa Z (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano122Anthony R. Margotta, Jr.12/1
119Abel Tasman (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMike E. Smith124Bob Baffert8/5
1210Salty (KY)Tyler Gaffalione122Mark E. Casse5/1